This is a hugely important issue and it is worth noting that the research in no way indicates that brain injury leads to criminal behaviour. Rather, there could be numerous environmental factors which could lead to both brain injury and crime. Also, in those more susceptible to becoming involved in crime, increased impulsivity, anger and reduced inhibition could lead to greater levels of reoffending.
Headway's long-time friends and collaborators at the University of Exeter's School of Psychology have published two recent papers showing much higher rates of head injuries in both adult and young offenders, compared to the general population.
Professor Huw Williams, who led the research, emphasised the important implications of the findings for the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders.
"This research suggests that it would be important to account for traumatic brain injury in the assessment and management of offenders," said Huw. "It may be that offenders with TBI have greater difficulty changing behaviour patterns. Taking account of head injury could reduce repeat offending in those affected.
"Screening specifically for TBI could be included in the health assessments of offenders and may help identify those affected to allow for more appropriate management of their needs."
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